A 17-year-old writer from Barnet who wrote a ghost story to distract herself from chronic migraines is inthe running for a national award.

Dora Fidler, 17, who attends Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, submitted her story The Poltergeist for the 2022 BBC Young Writer’s Award.

The shortlisted stories were announced live on BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks on Sunday September 25.

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Dora wrote The Poltergeist while bed-bound with chronic migraines.

She found herself unable to write the story without including her migraines and so it became not only about a haunting, but the unrelenting nature of long-term illness.

In her own words, chronic pain “can be as never-ending and persistent as a haunting”.

The story, written as a sequence of ten-day instalments as a ghost disturbs a family home, was described as “psychological horror in a beautiful way” and “fresh and well written” with an unexpected twist ending.

The five shortlisted stories, each under 1,000 words, will be read by Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey), Maimuna Memon (co-founder of Wildcard Theatre Company), Callie Cooke (Disney+’s Wedding Season), Abbie Andrews (Watch Dogs Legion) and Elizabeth Green (ALRA South 2022 graduate).

They will also be available to read on the BBC Radio 1 website.

The winner will be announced live from the award ceremony at BBC Broadcasting House on Radio 4’s Front Row on Tuesday, October 4.

The shortlist also includes Dandelions by Nabiha Ali 16, from Lancashire; Little Acorns by Elena Barham, 19, from Barnsley; Bite by Emily Betts, 17, from Northamptonshire; and Peach by Eshana Dasanjh, 18, from Leeds.

This will be the eighth year of the BBC Young Writers Award, which invites all 14 to 18-year-olds in the UK to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words.

Chair of the judging panel Katie Thistleton said: “It has been an absolute privilege to read so many bold, and yet quietly intimate, stories of such astonishing quality.

“Each and every writer on this list has a brilliant writing future ahead of them and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”